Christine Helen Wilson, known as Helen, was born in Lincolnshire. She was a vigorous schoolgirl; she cycled regularly and played tennis, netball and hockey. Her medical studies in Newcastle coincided with the onset of severe aggressive rheumatoid arthritis. Helen endeavoured to carry on as usual and played down her disability despite its devastating effect and several surgical interventions. She graduated MBBS (Durham) in 1966.
She trained in psychiatry in Newcastle and gained the DPM in 1970 and her MRCPsych in 1972.
Helen joined the West Midlands Training Scheme in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as a senior registrar in 1972, being based in Shrewsbury and Birmingham. In 1977 Helen took up a consultant child psychiatrist post in Shropshire where, despite her severe disability, she established good relations with patients and their families, and was highly regarded by colleagues at all levels.
After retirement in 1996 she was able to conserve her energy and had several quiet but happy years with her family and was able to pursue her hobbies, including creative writing and collecting antiques. At the time of her death she was in the process of writing her autobiography.
Helen was a warm, loving, strong, caring person; she embodied the qualities of struggle over personal difficulties while continuing to contribute a life of service to her community. Her rheumatoid arthritis led to renal failure but she maintained a determined independence and drove herself regularly to the local hospital for dialysis. Sadly the combination of renal failure and a further arthritic review led to her death in July 2001, aged 59.
She leaves a brother and myself, a sister, and much loved nieces and a nephew.